Saturday, April 30, 2005

Nazim Hikmet

My friend Barbara sent me this poem inspired by Nazim Hikmet which reminds me of a Neruda or Akhmatova poem.

THE SOUND OF A RIVER

by Barbara Paparrazo


It’s November, the boiler runs in the basement,
a low subliminal roar, the din of a fever,
like the great furnace of war grinding
its mill wheel somewhere, anywhere,
to feed the maws of power and greed.
I live far from the capitol but the gears
of empire are turning, mashing,
the clamor closer, louder.
O Nazim, where did you get your courage?
Imprisoned, you sang all the Turkish songs
at the top of your lungs – love ditties,
peasant ballads, even your own poems.
You knew walls were nothing,
chains were nothing,
and when a seamless white robe of a 14th century Sheik
appeared one night at your barred window in 1936,
you slipped through the iron grate
like a stream of water,
singing,the sound of a river
pouring from its source.

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